There are a few things to consider when you’re trying to look like a master chef. Obviously, there is the recipe, practice & precision of cooking, & the importance of using high quality ingredients. We always recommend sustainable ocean raised & loved fish! But there’s also something a lot of us might not think of right away. That one thing is PLATING. How you plate your salmon, directly impacts the consumer experience. So whether you’re cooking for yourself or your friends, learning how to plate salmon in a fancy way can make all the difference. Who doesn’t want to cook like a chef?
Today, we’re talking all things plating. Follow these tips below to learn how to plate salmon. We’re sure they’ll help you create artistic presentations and awe your guests!
A Lesson In How to Plate Salmon Like A Chef
Utilize the Swoosh
We’ve all seen the artistic swoosh artwork of a fine dining restaurant’s chef. If you want to make your dish look fancy, like you’ve spent years in culinary school, try the “swoosh method”. Use a spoon and get a spoon full of your sauce that you intend to pair with your salmon. Put a spoon full of sauce onto a clean empty plate on one side. Then lightly place your spoon over the dollop of sauce. Lightly pressing down, glide the spoon in a “swoosh” motion to cover the plate. Place your cooked salmon on top of the base “swoosh” and lightly garnish the plate with your seasonings. The key is to keep the plate simple and not overcrowd it. A nice decorative garnish can add a little extra flair to the dish.
Don’t Stuff the Plate
If you want to make your salmon dish look fancy, you can’t stuff the plate. What we mean by this, is you want the salmon to be the star of the show. The highest Michelin Star Rated restaurants are experts at Food as Art. We recommend placing your salmon entree on the plate with just what it is meant to be eaten with. Serve the sides “family style” for guests to serve themselves. So that your guests can be amazed by the plated salmon masterpiece you have created.
Try the Drizzle
Some salmon recipes call for a sauce on top of the salmon filet. To add some extra flair to your dish, you can use the sauce to also dress the plate. This can be done instead of the “swoosh method” or in addition to. Without the “swoosh method” if you’re using a sauce with a richer consistency ( almost honey like ) you can dress the plate by creating a pattern with the sauce. You will want to do this immediately before serving the dish as you’ll want to preserve your design and not let it sit too long. Take a spoon full of sauce and let it drizzle on the plate as you create your design. You can then place your salmon on the plate and add some additional drizzle over the filet.
If you have a sauce of a lighter consistency, you can always dress up the plate with a small decorative bowl so that our guests can pour their sauce over the salmon inviting them into the preparation process. There are many options for cute saucers that can pair well with your plate set. Or you can get really funky and fun and find something outlandish that will be a talking piece for your guests. Nothing like adding a little fun to your food!
Remove the Skin (Scales)
Although some recipes call to cook the salmon filet with the scales on the fish, no one likes to see a finished plate of salmon with a pile of scales on it. Although the recipe may call for cooking the fish with scales, you may want to consider cooking it without. You can protect the salmon filet with other methods (ex: foil on the grill), or get pieces that are large enough to descale the fish prior to serving it on your plate. Of course ome people may want the fish served with the scales, it’s easy to survey your group beforehand so that you meet the needs of your guests.
Consider Your Color Palette
The color of salmon is, well, salmon. This is a very pastel leaning color. So as you’re working on your dish, think of ways to add some color to the plate with your garnishes. You can use decorative garnishes, or garnishes that are intended to be eaten. Also, you don’t want your colors to overwhelm the dish and take away from your beautiful cut of fish. But you can also use plates and dinnerware that help enhance the look and feel of your dish. You can also use the color palette of the dish and plate to get across the essence of the recipe and compliment it.
As an example, if you have a recipe that calls for some spice, you can use some red ceramic dishes to help enhance the flavor. If you’re focusing on a more fresh and light feel, you could accent the dish with lemon slices and some dill stems.
Remember, Shapes Are Fun
When plating your salmon, you may want to pull out the dishes that have interesting shapes. Not all plates are created equal, and not all guests have to use the same plate. Have fun with your dish and play around with options. If you have some long rectangular serving plates, you could plate your salmon on one side, and then if you have rice as a side, you can use a small bowl to create a dome shape (place the rice in the bowl and flip it over onto the plate) on the other end of the plate. You can then garnish the rice to dress it up. Sometimes the unexpected dish array can steal the show of your dinner party. No one remembers the boring circular plate they’ve eaten off of a million times.
Don’t Be Afraid To Use Tools
Sometimes you need a specific tool to accomplish the look and feel of a five star plate. So don’t be afraid to grab chopsticks, spatulas, spoons, butter knife, or your CLEAN hands to create the perfect presentation. Remember, it takes effort and precision to create food that looks like art. So don’t be afraid to call in some assistance. Don’t expect yourself to perfectly drop everything on the plate.
So, do these tips give you the confidence to make food that looks like art? Plating salmon to look fancy isn’t easy, but if you follow these general rules you’ll be off to a great start. Remember, practice is makes perfect! So keep at it and don’t expect to nail a perfect plate on your fist try. We would love to see your plated masterpieces. If you try any of these tips, post a photo of your salmon and tag on on Instagram, @BluGlacier.